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Chelsea Pensioner Records at Find My Past

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Chelsea Pensioner Records at Find My Past

Postby ksouthall » Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:03 pm

Thanks for the tip about Chesea Pensioner records at I had some credits to use up and was lucky enough to find the army record for my first cousin, three times removed.

The details provided are amazing. He moved up through the ranks to become a Sergeant in the Royal Artillery. He was 5' 6" tall, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and red hair. He was a Wesleyan and his occupation was that of a miller when he enlisted. His next of kin is initially named as his father, Philip, then changed to his sister, Mary - confirming her married name and address - then his brother, John, presumably after his father's death.

He served in India, Egypt and Afghanistan in the 1870s and 1880s. He fractured his right leg in January 1890 when a horse fell on it, whilst he was on duty.

His medical record mentions his vaccinations and illnesses suffered whilst in service. These included hospitalisation from ague, a sprained ankle and primary and secondary syphilis, which was quite common amongst soldiers at that time.

All in all, it makes interesting reading. As well as giving lots of information about James, it also provides additional details of family relationships, consolidating what I knew about my ancestors.

His return from the army in the 1890s could also explain a family myth. My great-grandfather left Devon and eventually settled in Hertfordshire. One of my second cousins had been told he left when his brother returned "a war hero" and took over the running of the family farm. Perhaps his first cousin, James, was the returning war hero and the story has got changed over time?
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Re: Chelsea Pensioner Records at Find My Past

Postby Editor » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:56 pm

That sounds fascinating. Interestingly, I've just had a letter from someone this morning detailing what they have found in their ancestor's Chelsea pension records. Sounds like it could be a rich seam of information for the lucky ones.

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